My Salah-Less Gameweek 1: What Now?

“Nobody said it was easy.”


Largely, the success or failure of GW1 was heavily routed in whether you owned Salah or not.

His monster 20pt haul, after scoring a hat-trick versus Leeds, reverberated around the FPL Twittersphere like an earthquake that measured 8.5 on the Richter scale – there was simply no escaping it!

I was directly at the epicentre of that, feeling the full and devastating force of it’s effects having decided to go with Mané over the Egyptian king, scoring a total of just 40pts (the same score Salah captainers achieved), leaving me languishing way behind the joyous owners early on.

But the last part of the previous sentence is key… “early on”.

If you didn’t choose Salah, and you’ve had a bad start as a result, it’s important to remember that it’s just one gameweek. The situation can be reversed.

For me, it’s easy to say that my call to choose Mané over Salah was wrong and that I failed, but in reality, I didn’t pick Mané for one GW, I picked him long-term. So I don’t know that it has failed yet.

Now, of course, right now, it feels that way, as Salah is already 18pts ahead of Mané, but what happens if Mané picks up a brace against Chelsea and Salah blanks in GW2?

Salah scored 4 goals away from home last season, whilst Mané managed 7. It’s not inconceivable and it would change the way we view these two.

The dynamic in FPL can shift so quickly. This is why it’s so important to find a balance between being pro-active and remaining patient with your plan.

Now of course, I’m not blind. Sadio didn’t perform great, and despite Salah scoring 2 from the spot, looked extremely sharp and well worth his hat-trick – I’m under no illusions, trust me.

But my point is, I knew the risks involved with not having Salah and I believed Mané was either going to match or beat him longer term, not just in GW1.

One gameweek is simply not enough data to conclude definitively that my judgement on this was wrong.

The important thing here however, is that I’m not stubborn with this. You have to be adaptable and if after 5 GWs Salah is still outperforming him consistently, then I can make the switch easy enough and accept my mistake.

There’s no shame, of course, in a change of Egyptian-like direction. If you feel strongly that you were wrong about something, then make the change.

All I’m saying is, give your plan a chance before completely abandoning ship based on just 1 GWs worth of data.

FPL is NEVER plain sailing. There is always something in the way, some storm you have to navigate, some hole you have to fix. But storms don’t last forever, and it’s how you react to the storm that is going to define the success or failure of your season.

GW1 was one hell of a storm for me and I’m not sure yet if I’ve chosen the right way of getting out of it, but if I simply switch to Salah, there’s no guarantee that calms the storm.

What I do know is, I’m going to stick with my plan and re-assess after I have a reliable amount of data to act on.

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